GM to lay off 3500 workers, build fewer pickups, SUVs

Detroit, USĀ  - The United States' largest automaker General Motors (GM) announced it is set to lay off 3,500 workers as it reduces its production of pickup trucks and heavy four-wheel vehicles due to falling demand.

After laying off a shift in four North American factories, GM plans to make around 88,000 fewer pickup trucks and 50,000 fewer sports utility vehicles (SUVs) this year. This corresponds to more than 10 per cent of the previous year's production in this sector.

According to the announcement late Monday evening, the market for pickup trucks and SUVs slipped as much as 20 per cent in the first quarter. The company speculated that the change in the market was due to high fuel prices and the general economic downturn.

GM had already lowered its production due to the strike among distributors.

General Motors, which has suffered billion dollars in losses, is to present its numbers for the first quarter this Wednesday. Analysts are expecting further losses. (dpa)